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rezaf

Do I need a tutor?

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rezaf

I think after over 4 years of Chinese(2 years of Chinese,2 years of TCM in Chinese) I can be considered as an intermediate level student. I can read and write probably at the same level of Chinese middle school students(the not very smart ones) but my speaking is a little bit off. Next year I might take one year off to focus on my Chinese vocabulary and reading using methods that I already know, but since I won't be in China during that time, I have been thinking if it's beneficial for me to use an online tutor like those on italki who claim they can teach advanced Chinese or classical Chinese once or twice a week or will self-study and sometimes chatting with my Chinese friends be enough? Any suggestions?

edit: By my logic I think intermediate is my level not upper-intermediate

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anonymoose

So you're saying the average Chinese middle school student (the not very smart ones) only have an upper-intermediate level of Chinese? :conf

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Kiz
So you're saying the average Chinese middle school student (the not very smart ones) only have an upper-intermediate level of Chinese?

Aren't they?

I don't think they can be anywhere better. But they indeed can speak much more better.

I think you can just italki with your Chinese friend to practise more. That would be enough.

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gato
Next year I might take one year off to focus on my Chinese vocabulary and reading using methods that I already know, but since I won't be in China during that time

If you are going to focus on Chinese for a year, shouldn't you try to be in China for that year. Maybe go to Harbin and cram with kdavid?

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rezaf
So you're saying the average Chinese middle school student (the not very smart ones) only have an upper-intermediate level of Chinese?

In reality my level is actually close to elementary school students but when writing I can imitate middle school level by using dictionary ;) . I consider high school students as advanced and university students as the ultimate goal. Personally I don't think that I can progress further in this life-time but who knows maybe it's possible. :rolleyes:

If you are going to focus on Chinese for a year, shouldn't you try to be in China for that year. Maybe go to Harbin and cram with kdavid?

I have some other reasons for that which I can't discuss here.

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jbradfor
I won't be in China during that time

Will your (Chinese-speaking) wife be with you?

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rezaf

My wife never speaks to me in Chinese, even if I beg her. So asking her to correct me or teach me or literally do anything for me is unimaginable.

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Glenn

What language do you speak with her?

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rezaf

I try to speak with her in Chinese but she always speaks to me in English. Her English is much better than mine and she works for an American company, so it's not like she needs to practice it with me. <_<

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Glenn

Interesting. I guess maybe it's a sort of mental categorization thing with Chinese and non-Chinese? Have you asked her why she does that?

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rezaf
nteresting. I guess maybe it's a sort of mental categorization thing with Chinese and non-Chinese? Have you asked her why she does that?

Because she is mean? :huh:

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anonymoose

I don't know where you manage to find those Chinese fluent English speakers. Of the young Chinese people I know, many of them can barely speak any English at all (even having been through university), and of those that can, few of them can be considered to be fluent.

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jbradfor

Strictly speaking, rezaf didn't call her English "fluent", just "much better than mine".

@rezaf, you better hope she's not reading this!

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anonymoose

Well I was assuming rezaf is fluent in English, but having said that, he might just be good at writing. Certainly my written Chinese is better than my spoken.

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Meng Lelan
I try to speak with her in Chinese but she always speaks to me in English. Her English is much better than mine and she works for an American company, so it's not like she needs to practice it with me.

I had a male student in my intermediate Chinese class in your same situation two years ago. He was married to a Chinese who came from Shenzhen and her native language was Mandarin but spoke some English in her company work. As soon as they married and she came to the US to live with him she would speak to him in English only even though he tried to speak to her in Chinese only. So he ended up taking classes at the Confucius Institute to keep up his Chinese.

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heifeng

Rezaf, why don't you just try out an online tutor if you cannot join a local class. You can always cancel the service if you aren't getting what you want out of it...(just read the fine print, etc)

I don't think most spouses, g/b-friends, flings, or even most friends make especially good (insert language here} teachers...unless that happens to be their profession. They can sometimes be a decent language 'reference' and an occasional human dictionary, but are definitely not a substitute for a trained teaching professional that can help you get from the intermediate to advance level and correct you as you go.

However, hopefully some sort of trained professional is available via an online tutorial service. What have forum members' experiences been? Any recommendations for Rezaf? I'm sure others are in the same boat with wanting to practice and improve their spoken Chinese without alot of local options :P

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rezaf
Well I was assuming rezaf is fluent in English, but having said that, he might just be good at writing. Certainly my written Chinese is better than my spoken.

My English is very bad as I don't use very often these days and because of my wife it's beginning to sound like Chinglish which is another reason I don't want her to speak to me in English.

I had a male student in my intermediate Chinese class in your same situation two years ago. He was married to a Chinese who came from Shenzhen and her native language was Mandarin but spoke some English in her company work. As soon as they married and she came to the US to live with him she would speak to him in English only even though he tried to speak to her in Chinese only. So he ended up taking classes at the Confucius Institute to keep up his Chinese.

Was she a 80後?

However, hopefully some sort of trained professional is available via an online tutorial service. What have forum members' experiences been? Any recommendations for Rezaf? I'm sure others are in the same boat with wanting to practice and improve their spoken Chinese without alot of local options

I also think that my main problem is my speaking.

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Meng Lelan
Was she a 80後?

Mmmm....the guy was in his fifties and the Chinese wife looked to be about her early to mid thirties.

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rezaf

In this thread I actually want to ask for the opinion of the advanced learners on this website if they needed a tutor or a course in the transition from the intermediate to the advanced level. As I said I have already prepared the vocabulary and the books that I'm gonna read but I am just not sure if it's a good idea to be completely on my own.

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Meng Lelan

Thinking back to my transition from intermediate to advanced level, I remember that being the time I was an apartment manager for grad student housing for four years and that was when 90% of the residents were Chinese, the whole apartment building of 250 units became my language lab. The guys would trudge off to their labs from dawn to dusk leaving me to tend to their stay at home wives, moms, grandparents, etc and this was before English got trendy. Those were great days. So I don't feel like a tutor or course is a must, just that the environment is a must.

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